Adani Group pledges stake worth USD 13 bn in Ambuja Cements and ACC

The Adani Group has pledged its entire stake worth USD 13 billion in Ambuja Cements and ACC, days after completing its USD 6.5 billion acquisition of the two companies.

According to regulatory updates on Tuesday, billionaire Gautam Adani-led group has encumbered its 63.15 per cent stake in Ambuja Cements and 56.7 per cent stake in ACC (of which 50 per cent is held by Ambuja) to the Hong Kong Branch of Deutsche Bank AG.

This is “for the benefit of certain lenders and other finance parties,” said Adani Group which has now chalked out plans to double the cement manufacturing capacity to 140 million tonne in next five years.

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Ambuja Cements shares closed at Rs 574.10 apiece on BSE on Tuesday and ACC Ltd’s stock settled at Rs 2,725.70.

Adani has acquired the two firms through a Mauritius-based SPV Endeavour Trade and Investment Ltd (ETIL), which is owned by Xcent Trade and Investment Ltd (XTIL).

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Both had “availed certain financial indebtedness” for Deutsche Bank for “issuance of USD 535,000,000 12.0739 per cent Senior Secured Notes due 2024” and pursuant to the terms and conditions set out, ETIL and Xcent have created “a charge over 100 per cent of the shares in favour of Deutsche Bank AG”.

Last week, Adani Group announced the completion of the acquisition of Ambuja Cements and ACC for USD 6.5 billion which includes the buyout of Swiss major Holcim’s stake in the two firms and subsequent open offers to minority shareholders.

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While addressing shareholders earlier this week, Gautam Adani had said his group has planned to double cement manufacturing capacity and become the most profitable manufacturer in the country.

He saw a multifold rise in cement demand in India on the back of record-breaking economic growth and the government’s infrastructure creation push, which will give significant margin expansion.

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In a speech made at an event to mark the completion of the acquisition on September 17, the Adani Group founder and chairman said the ports-to-energy conglomerate has in a single stroke become the second largest cement manufacturer in the country.

Calling the acquisition historic, he said this buyout is India’s largest ever inbound M&A transaction in the infrastructure and materials space and closed in a record time of 4 months.

“Our entry into this business is happening at a time when India is on the cusp of one of the greatest economic surges seen in the modern world,” he said in the speech.

Stating reasons for the foray into the cement space, he said while India is the second largest producer of cement in the world, its per capita consumption is just 250 kg compared to 1,600 kg of China. “This is almost a 7x headroom for growth.”

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Adani Group’s competency in driving operational efficiency will result in “significant margin expansion to become the most profitable cement manufacturer in the country,” he said. “And we anticipate going from the current 70 million tonne capacity to 140 million tonne in next 5 years.”

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The group is the world’s largest solar power company and has committed USD 70 billion investment in clean energy business including green hydrogen, he said.

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Adani Group is the largest airport operator in the nation with 25 per cent of passenger traffic and 40 per cent of air cargo. It is the largest ports and logistics company in the country with a 30 per cent market share.

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